The root of it all
A tree that bore no fruit
Religion did not define me so much as undermine me…it left me continually feeling unworthy, ashamed, and afraid. I was convinced I was going to hell, because I knew no matter what I did, how much ‘good’ I did or tried to do-I would be judged for my thoughts as well as my deeds. It wouldn’t, doesn’t, did not, matter if I smiled, and gave the impression that I had/have forgiven those that have and do ‘trespass against me.’ Hiding my true, inner most feelings, and or camouflaging my heart/hurt in an effort to please others or in order to maintain ‘peace’ may make me appear more ‘evolved,’ seem more worthy than I really am/was, but I knew or was convinced I would be ‘judged’ for it later-because the Lord knew/knows what was/is in my heart. And the truth is/was, I wasn’t sure I was capable of forgiving or exercising forgiveness, well I know I have been told I am capable, I am just not always willing to and don’t always want to. Never mind the outward ‘sins’-religion had me convinced I was going to hell no matter what I did or did not do, I was a ‘fruit tree’ that bore no ‘fruit.’
The problem with feeling unworthy combined with the conviction/convincing of being told you are unworthy, tends to make you feel defeated, and leaves you wondering why you even bother to try. Therefore, I quit trying... I still pray, I still love God and have faith, I still believe in Him and I still fear I may be headed to hell regardless of the ‘good’ I do, try, and or tried to do. I just choose to do so without all the other people shaming, judging, and ridiculing me. I am far more diligent and mindful of praying and reading my scriptures, and I am trying or try to refrain from passing judgment of others. When I was practicing religion I found myself engaging in conversations and participating in behaviors that seemed less about Christ and were less ‘Christ like’ than I care to even admit.
I am not trying to sway anyone or convince anyone to refrain from seeking enlightenment, religion, or anything like that. In fact, quite the opposite, I encourage everyone to seek and pursue knowledge, higher truths and or education, and do anything and everything to leave this world better than it was before we were here. How that is done and or if that is possible may not be probable or feasible to some and can and will vary according to and contingent upon ones ideology, beliefs, cultures, events, and or circumstances, but I am convinced that each and every one of us was put upon this earth to serve a purpose. We all have value and worth-what we value may determine our worth, only, if we do not know our value, we may never know our worth.
I may not know my worth but for the first time in long time-perhaps ever, I know I am worthy. God knows why He loves me, but He loves me, and that is all that matters. Knowing this, believing this, having faith in Him and in that unconditional love, has me convinced that He loves each and every one of us-as we are, and with that same unconditional love, regardless of our religion, sexuality, and or race. He created us in His image and I will continually strive to be the best version of me I can be-until maybe I can see His image in me. If religion is what determines my place, value, and or my worth, then perhaps I am destined to spend eternity in ‘hell.’ If this is the case, I will accept that, for I do not intend to pursue a specific sect or religion-my relationship with God is a personal one, one I value and place above all others. I take all my relationships personally, and I alone am personally responsible for each of them-my tree may never bear fruit, but with any luck, it will continue to grow daily…rooted by faith, love, and hope.